“Neurons that fire together wire together” is a ubiquitous saying in the realm of psychology, particularly neuroscience, that goes a long way in explaining how our habits, thought patterns, and very experience of life are shaped. But what does it mean?
The neurons in our brain are always talking to each other. Electrochemical signals are their (highly efficient) way to send DMs to the inbox of neighboring neurons—they constantly “fire” off messages to their network and get sh*t done in our brains. When neurons fire together often, say we think the same thought or do the same thing over and over again, they “wire” together and form pathways between one another that grow increasingly stronger the more they're traversed. Neurons that fire together wire together; our brains are constantly adapting and forming new connections and pathways based on our experiences and thoughts. This phenomenon is called neuroplasticity.
But how does brain science relate to you and your business? Enter Karen Allen and her revolutionary mindfulness exercise, Stop & Shift.
Karen is a pioneer in the realm of mental strength training, which takes advantage of the concepts laid out in neuroscience around the ever-changing connections in our brain to help us level up in all areas of our personal and professional lives. Using growth mindset principles, positive psychology skills, and harnessing the power of neuroplasticity, Karen created Stop & Shift, a simple technique meant to help people jump-start their mental strength, learn how to let go of negative thought cycles, and move to more productive and positive thinking—far beyond just your business.
Stop & Shift is designed to help improve your thinking to make better choices in all areas and subsequently create a healthier and happier life. Karen will be diving into all of this and teaching you how to use the simple Stop & Shift exercise to better your business and your life in her keynote presentation at XYPN LIVE 2021 this November.
Why your choices matter
In her TEDx talk, Karen says that even in the face of the worst life can throw at us, we can become bitter, or we can choose to become better. Our choices can change the trajectory of our stories, and her own life is an example. Her own past experiences and trauma inform her expertise and work. She's been there, and she chose to take what she learned and come out on the other side stronger and more receptive to life and all that comes with it. She teaches that it’s time to stop striving for a problem-free, picture-perfect life and instead focus on building a strong mind and heart-centered skills to navigate whatever comes your way.
Karen is the founder and heart behind the 100% Human™ movement, which is all about personal growth and making mindful choices that help you live a fuller, more satisfying life. At the center of Karen’s message is the notion that no matter what life throws at you, in your business or personal life, you always get the choice about how you’ll respond. The hard part is remembering that you do have a choice and then enabling yourself to be mindful and conscious of how you are choosing to feel and respond at every opportunity. Easier said than done—and that’s where Stop & Shift comes in.
Suppose that I'm an advisor struggling with imposter syndrome. The more I let my brain go down that direction and entertain the fear and anxiety that I'm not good enough or an expert enough to do my job, the easier it becomes for my brain to go there are for those emotions to arise. It becomes a thought pattern—I think about my firm, question if I am an imposter, and if my thoughts keep going there without interruption, the easier it gets for that thought pattern to arise and for it to shape my reality.
But here’s the good news: negative thought patterns and ruts aren’t set in stone. Thanks to neuroplasticity, nothing in our brain is. The fact that the connections and pathways in our brain are “plastic” and constantly changing frees us to change our thought patterns and even who we are and how we experience life.
With conscious effort, like practicing Stop & Shift, emotions such as happiness and compassion can be cultivated in the same way that a person can learn through repetition to play an instrument or speak a language. Practice changes the activity and physical aspects of specific brain areas. You can reframe your world and reset your mindset so that you have the power to see things as they are and respond thoughtfully, deliberately, and effectively to everything you experience. Your choices matter and you can harness them to improve your life.
Karen has made her career about helping people get out of their ruts so they can explore their potential, live healthier, and do the things their heart desperately wants to do. Why? Because she believes when you're at your best, you make the people around you better, and so the world a little better, too. Stop & Shift is about giving people a simple tool to help them get better at making conscious choices and dealing with everyday stressors and disruptions, helping us in all areas of our personal and professional lives. Stop & Shift will help you become more mindful of your thoughts, words, and actions, resulting in changes to, well, everything.
To learn more from Karen Allen about how you can use Stop & Shift to deal with everyday stressors and start focusing on the joy and abundance that is actually under your control, grab your pass for XYPN LIVE 2021.
About Emily Campbell
Emily Campbell is Associate Editor on XYPN's Marketing Team. She is passionate about language and writing, swoons over an illustrative alliteration, and she can't believe she gets the opportunity to communicate with the world about the XYPN movement. When she's not looking for her next chance to use an em dash, she spends her time with her rescued pit bull named Dog, coexists with spiders as an extension of her vegan values, and engages with the (mostly dead) philosophers that live in her head.
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